Bring back old glories
Dial Chote Nawab if you want to relish Matka Pir's biryanis and kormas in the comforts of your home
People who have been living in the city bear testimony to how the city has changed over the years - with an increasing number of villages becoming urbanised, infrastructure changing over a period of time and the metro becoming the face of the city. But some things have refused to change, not much at least. Seven decades back, one would travel all the way to a Sufi shrine in Mathura Road to spoon out delicacies from a handi. But now you can order the same from the comforts of your home.
Known mostly to connoisseurs, and people who love the rice infused with saffron and pieces of meat (read biryani), it was a quaint shop near the dargah of Matka Pir. One didn't need to ask the way around, the place was instantly recognizable by the rows of earthenware pots or handis, as they were popularly known.
While that quaint little shop still survives the test of time, for those residing in south Delhi and Gurgaon, getting Matka Pir's famous biryani and mutton korma has just gotten easier. In fact, now you can just call for it or order it online and it will be right there at your doorsteps, wrapped in microwaveable plastic containers.
Chote Nawab, in four locations of south Delhi and Gurgaon (including one for IIT that caters to their students and teachers only) has gotten hold of some of the recipes that have made Matka Pir an institution. Rajarshi Guha, one of the partners of Chote Nawab, says they started their enterprise by selling Matka Pir's biryani and later on moved on to create their own set up once they were given the recipe. "Babu Shahi shared the recipes of his famous biryani and kormas with us before his death," says Guha.
Their menu is simple and consists of kebabs, rolls, biryanis, kormas and rotis. The items available are predominantly non-vegetarian but there are a few things (read paneer tikka and tandoori aloo) for vegetarians too. So when we had a craving for the korma, we dialed their number recently. On the order list were Mutton galauti, Chicken lahsooni tikka and Mutton korma with rotis. The Galautis, that traces its origin back to the kitchens of the Awadhi nawabs, are made from minced meat and chhana dal seasoned with spices.
Even though the chefs at Chote Nawab are quite far away from Awadh, they did manage to do a good job of the kebabs. We didn't like the Lahsooni tikkas much (a little off the mark) but the mutton korma was fresh and good. So next time you throw an impromptu party at your place, here is one more option on you dialing list.
At: Chote Nawab, Shop No. 7, Market No. 2, CR Park
Timings: 11 am to 11 pm (except Tuesdays)
Meal for two: Rs 350 + taxes